The biggest publishers on the market have the best looking magazines. Apart from the exceptional design and great content, there’s one other thing that makes them stand out: interactivity. If you take a look at their printed magazines and compare them to the online version, you’ll notice that you always get more on your computer than on paper.
What are interactive magazines?
Interactive magazines include all digital publications that require actions: click, touch or swipe to perform different operations, from a simple page turn to more complex interactions, like buying a product directly from a magazine.
Interactivity is the backbone of the internet. Big publishers and retailers know how to exploit this, and there’s nothing stopping you from doing the same thing. There are surprising benefits in using interactivity in your digital publications. But we’ll do more than just tell you what the benefits are: we will tell you how to get them and what interactions work best for different types of publications.
Benefits of using interactivity in your magazines
1. Drive traffic from your magazine
When you invest time in making a magazine or catalog you have a purpose: you want to influence your readers in a certain way. Sometimes you just want to inform them or change the way the think about a certain subject. Other times you want them to perform a certain action. This is where interactivity comes in handy. By adding links and clickable buttons in your magazine you will drive traffic from your online publication to your site, a partner’s site, a social media page or an external destination.
The more links and buttons you add, the more traffic you will get.
Isn’t this a great way to guide readers to wherever you want them to land? If you don’t have any links at all in your magazine, you’re wasting a great opportunity.
2. Drive more sales
Business owners are most interested in sales. If you want to turn your online magazine into a money-making tool, you must know how to do it.
Make smart e-catalogs using attractive product images and texts, but don’t stop there. Add an extra layer of interactivity to your digital magazine: use shopping buttons with clear calls to action. You never know who’s going to end up flipping through your digital magazine, wanting to make a purchase. It’s your responsibility as a business owner or marketer to make that as simple as possible, and the easiest way to do so it to add separate buy links for each product.
While buy buttons are the perfect solution for online catalogs, they may not be the best option for magazines. We recommend using tags if you want to advertise products in a more subtle way, and not mess with the design of your magazine.
3. Make people spend more time reading your magazine
The best way to keep your audience interested in your content is to deliver engaging, interactive content. Try using videos along with stories. Add compelling images. Travel agencies can use videos in their interactive magazines to make their offers look more attractive and paint a great picture of a place that people haven’t yet seen. Real estate businesses can use the same strategy for houses and apartments.
People will spend more time on your magazine, because you’ll be offering various types of satisfying content, all in one place. And the good news is that the time spent on your magazine is a sign that you deliver that is interesting and relevant for your readers.
4. Establish an emotional connection with your readers
Perhaps you haven’t thought about it this way, but interactivity can make improve the relationship between readers and your magazine. It helps you communicate on multiple levels and provide a multisensory experience.
Furthermore, interactive rich media requires an action from the reader. He has to click on the interactive elements that you have prepared for him on the pages of your magazine, so in a way, the reader becomes actively involved in the process. He gets to explore pieces of information or entertainment that you have incorporated in your magazine, so in a way he becomes a part of it.
If you want to connect with your audience, this is the way to do it.
5. Strengthen your brand’s identity and brand appeal
One of the most important requirements in any business transaction is trust. If customers don’t trust your business, if they have doubts about it being legit, they will not buy from you. The first step in building trust is getting your brand known, and the next step is getting customers to connect with it.
Truthfully, branding is a long and complex process, but you can work in small steps towards winning your customers and differentiating your business. Since you are already using Flipsnack, you are on the right way. Interactivity will add that “wow” element to your online magazines that will make them remarkable. There’s no better way of branding than being remarkable.
6. Get to know your readers
How can you get to know readers through interactivity? The first (and most obvious) way is to let them communicate with you directly through your digital magazine. Just add some interactive forms in your magazines. You can ask readers anything or let them ask you questions.
The other thing that you can do is to keep an eye on your Flipsnack stats, because they provide information about each interactive element from your publication. You will be able to monitor the effect of videos, links and other elements to see what your readers like, and how they like to interact with your content.
What interactive elements can I use with Flipsnack?
One of the best ways to make an interactive magazine is Flipsnack, because it helps you pack a lot of interactive elements in your publications: links, buttons, checkout with PayPal, forms, audio, video, tags, captions.
Some of you haven’t explored these options yet, because you didn’t have time, or because the editor looked intimidating. But let’s see what they are and how to use them.
If you have hyperlinks in your uploaded PDF they automatically get converted in your interactive magazine, but you can add more, anytime. Apply links over texts, images or ads.
Simply drag and adjust an outline over the area that you want hyperlinked and enter the desired URL.
You can change their color, the call to action and the target URL. They are perfect for product catalogs.
Social media buttons
We can’t ignore the importance of social media. Add these buttons on your interactive magazine’s cover, along with your website address, so readers will know where they can connect with you.
Tags are little blinking dots that you can use to annotate images with product descriptions, prices and buy links. They are very easy to use, with drag and drop.
These text blurbs are great for highlighting quotes, for additional information, or for short descriptions.
You can easily place audio buttons on your publication. The next step is to upload an MP3 file or record something for your readers. The audio can set the mood for a photo album, add explanations to courses or present an interview in a magazine.
You can use videos for just about anything. In Flipsnack you can have either video buttons or video widgets that play directly on page.
Flipsnack forms can be edited extensively. They can be placed on any page of your magazine and edited to add the fields that you need.
Now it’s your turn! Start using interactivity in your magazines, and you’ll have some surprising results. If you have any questions about any of this, let us know!